My name is Emily Faubert. I’m currently in my last year of the Bachelor of Arts in Psychology program at Algoma University, and I am from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. I graduated from St. Mary’s College in 2014.
Overall, my experiences at Algoma University have been great. While I applied to many other schools upon leaving SMC, I had always planned to attend Algoma. This decision was definitely worthwhile, as the opportunities I’ve been able to take part in as a part of the Algoma University community have really contributed to my overall experience.
In fact, one of the best opportunities presented itself to me in my second year. That is, I was able to take part in Algoma’s student exchange program. While in my final year of high school, I visited a family friend for over March Break in Glasgow, Scotland. Ever since then, having seen what student life was like abroad, I knew I had to take part in a student exchange program. So, for my exchange, I decided to return to the UK and lived in Canterbury, England for a full academic school year. I was lucky enough to attend Canterbury Christ Church University, and my experience was incredible.
Over the course of the year, I learned not just in terms of academics, but I also was able to learn a lot about myself and other cultures from around the globe. Having the opportunity to make friends with other students from endless amounts of other countries, I got to travel around Europe with several of my classmates. Overall, I can’t say enough good things about my student exchange.
For my first semester abroad, I was one of two Canadians studying in Canterbury. In my second semester, I was the only one. So in addition to all of the first experiences I was having, such as living as an independent adult for the first time in my life, I learned a lot on how to be a representative of my home university and country as a whole. It was a really unique experience to be the only Canadian. Everything I told others about where I came from, other students from around the world used to shape their ideas of Canada and Algoma U. I was responsible for creating an accurate representation of what it means to be Canadian, and I took great pride in that particular opportunity.
My experience abroad really opened me up to so many different global perspectives. Because of this and my overall experience, I have applied to the CANTEACH program for after graduation, which allows Canadian students to complete teachers’ college abroad. Fortunately, I recently received conditional admission to Cardiff Metropolitan University in Wales for the 2019 school year. Eventually, and hopefully after a stint of teaching in the UK, I plan to come back to Canada and work in the education sector. I’m interested in not just being a teacher, but also being involved in either guidance or student services.
Throughout my degree at Algoma, I had the opportunity to take a variety of courses to prepare for this application to CANTEACH. For instance, I took several biology courses, which were amazing. Because the class sizes at Algoma are smaller, we were able to do a lot of outdoors and lots of hands-on learning. In Ecology in particular, I remember catching and surveying crickets, and going in to the St. Mary’s River netting fish. Everyone got those opportunities, which I think is really unique to Algoma.
I also really liked the cultural aspect of Algoma. As a Métis student, I’ve gotten to participate in a lot of events and activities that are related to my heritage. But what I like even more, is that none of these activities are exclusively for Indigenous people. Everyone is welcome. When I visit the Gathering at the Rapids Pow Wow and there’s a teepee and a ceremonial fire right outside the George Leech Centre, it makes campus feel even more welcoming. Kind of like a home, in a way. And everyone is invited to take part in these activities. We’re all part of this big community on campus where we respect each other. And I’ve noticed this community feeling amongst faculty, in class, and in the various departments around campus. The Algoma University staff and faculty are really dedicated to student success, and I believe the community aspect is what Algoma does best. I’m really going to miss the home-like environment when I’m done taking classes here. However, the world awaits!